There he sat absorbed in thought, seemingly forgetful that he was the sarechsme, Mohammed Ali, and a captive, for a happy smile rested on his lips. His thoughts were beyond the sea, in the distant Cavalla. Whom did he see there? It seems to him that Masa, stands before him with her large soft eyes, and sweet smile; and Masa's image is strangely interwoven with that of the Bedouin-child, Butheita.
Bear my greeting to Cavalla, to the yellow shore, and to Masa's deep, blue grave. And now I have nothing more to say to you. I shall send up the bim bashi who is to conduct you to Alexandria, and accompany you on the ship to your home at Imbro. Farewell!" He turns and hastily leaves the room, without looking again at Cousrouf, who stands there motionless and deathly pale.
In the name of the tschorbadji, command you to allow these men to enter!" With a loud shout the men rushed toward the door, and the body-guard stepped aside, and left the passage free. Mohammed's glittering eyes followed them, and he suddenly turned pale, for Masa's lovely form now appeared on the threshold of the palace. A cry resounded from his lips.
His gaze fastens on his Masa's hair in a long, painful glance. He had often kissed these tresses while they clung to her beloved head. He now kisses them for the last time, and then conceals them in his bosom. He bends down again and takes up the presents of his other sons. He remembers the cup well. Masa had often drunk out of it.
He kisses the rim of the cup, the place where Masa's crimson lips had touched; he then carefully places it on the cushion beside him. He now takes up the third present the gold-embroidered cuffei he had purchased for Masa from the merchant, Lion. She wore it around her neck for the last time when he pressed her to his heart and took leave of her for a short time, as he thought.
For a moment his heart stands still with horror, and then beats again with redoubled violence. The procession comes nearer and nearer. Now he hears a low, wailing voice. It is she, he recognizes Masa's voice. And alas! he can utter no tone, he cannot rise and fly to her assistance. His mouth is gagged, his hands and feet are securely bound.
This is Masa's blood, shed for him! He kisses the spot, and binds the cloth around his neck the cloth she has worn, the cloth inscribed with her blood! A holy remembrance of her, he will never part with it. It shall protect him from the rude wind of the world. He lays his hand on Masa's tresses again; he looks at the cup, and sits there motionless, absorbed in thought, for a long time.
"Am I not my father's slave, is not his daughter's life in his hands, must I not do what he commands? But this I can swear: that I will love you, Mohammed, that I will pray to Allah to bless our love. And now let me tell you, I not only know that you love me, but I also know that Masa's heart is yours, for it beats so loudly, so stormily, and I feel so happy.
And yet I cannot allow Masa's father to die, for Masa would weep for him, and her every tear would accuse me." "You shall not die, Mohammed," murmured the maiden. "No, you shall not die. O Mohammed, listen to my words. I conjure you, do not be cruel.
Mohammed bows his head, and listens in breathless suspense, his heart throbbing wildly. "I hear you, my daughter," replied the sheik, in a quiet tone. "I expected you, for I know my Masa's heart well." "Masa," murmured Mohammed; "what a beautiful, glorious name! It falls like music upon my ear, and makes my heart beat strangely. What does this mean? Allah, protect thy servant!"